From November 10 to 19, 2017, Al-Bustan and Mural Arts Philadelphia were pleased to welcome renowned artist eL Seed, inviting him to create a mural in West Philadelphia at Market and Preston Streets. Upon arriving, he met with various neighbors, community members, and organizations working in the neighborhood, followed by a presentation and conversation with Conrad Benner at Perry World House. His meetings and discussions inspired him to select this quote from W.E.B. Du Bois to write in Arabic on the walls:
“I believe that all men, black and brown and white, are brothers, varying through time and opportunity, in form and gift and feature, but differing in no essential particular, and alike in soul and the possibility of infinite development.” – excerpt from Darkwater: Voices from Within the Veil published in 1920
He also wrote in Arabic “Soul of the Black Bottom” inspired by Mr. Kernard Shearlds, a longtime resident of Preston Street.
While eL Seed was on the wall from sun up to sun down, Al-Bustan friend and writer Ann de Forest followed the artist and his newly forged friendships to create a daily narrative: you can read Ann’s account of the week here!